While it’s difficult cutting an entire CD of instrumentals and holding the listener’s attention for the duration, this is an excellent listen from beginning-to-end. The title track gets things going, and it’s a New Orleans-flavored romp with hints of Archibald, Booker and Tuts Washington’s style. “Rum & Coca Cola” was one of Fess’ standbys, and Krown’s interpretation is intoxicating.
Exposed is dominated by original compositions, and they all hold up quite well. The best one might be “Last Call,” which has a lovely after-hour feel a la Avery Parish. “All That and Then Some” has a Bookerish lilt, while “13th Ward Boogie” lives up to its Uptown name. Speaking of Booker, there’s a rousing treatment here of his obscure “Pop’s Dilemma,” which sounds like it was stolen from Archibald’s kitchen.
Of the covers, “Mother-in-Law” and “Mardi Gras in New Orleans” are handled admirably, but recording them again might be redundant at this point. The same can be said for the closer “Hucklebuck,” which is a standard for most R&B bands. If you’re at all into old-school New Orleans R&B piano, then you need to get Exposed.